Tech, Autos, & Gear in Layman's Terms Since 2006

Editorials Category

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April 30, 2016 • Rants and Raves

Lawd Help You If Your 1.5 Year Old Amazon Kindle Voyage Dies

This is a public service announcement for anyone considering buying a Kindle: be sure to get the extended warranty. Why? Because Amazon doesn’t repair them (at all) when they break; the best option you will get (after a bit of haggling) is $20 off a new one. You’ve been warned.

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March 24, 2016 • Editorials

Seaworld Announces an End to Orca Shows, Calls Us All Killers for Wanting to Free Willy

Seaworld has been under a great deal of pressure since the release of the documentary “Blackfish“. The film focused on an orca at Seaworld, and why it’s a bad idea to raise and keep killer whales in captivity. It led to a groundswell of pressure on Seaworld, and they’ve finally announced an end to the …

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March 8, 2016 • Editorials

The Surface Pro 3 Is Ready to Meet All Your Computing Needs

Years back, I got caught up in the UMPC — UltraMobilePC- fad. (I blame James Kendrick and his JKontheRun blog.) None of those devices lived up to their promise of a full PC in a small, touchscreen device. Fast forward, and that promise has been realized in the Microsoft Surface line of computers. microsoft, via …

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February 17, 2016 • Rants and Raves

What’s the Point of Those Sticky Card Holders for Your Phone?

In the last year or so, I’ve noticed smartphone/tablet adjacent accessories have become big giveaway items. Instead of a crappy free pen, you get a crappy free pen with a rubber capacitive stylus tip on one end. Yay? At least pens are useful…the sticky card holder I received today is just weird, ugly, and useless.

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February 13, 2016 • Rants and Raves

Is Spam Going Through a Bold Renaissance?

Is spam going through a rebirth, led primarily by information you submit to business directories? My inbox for the past year would answer yes based upon the number of email newsletters; semi-official looking emails received to my company’s “honeypot” email address.

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January 28, 2016 • Rants and Raves

Is Theranos Truly Disruptive, or Is It All Smoke and Mirrors?

Have you heard of Theranos? The name might seem vaguely familiar because they are a wildly successful start-up that’s raised over 9 billion dollars! They claim they have a faster, more efficient way to test blood using a drop instead of the traditional blood drawn from the vein. Unfortunately, it looks like the enthusiasm over …

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January 21, 2016 • Editorials

Giving Up a Smartwatch Made Me Feel Free!

My wife recently challenged me to turn off my smartwatch. Instead of letting me discreetly stay connected, I was constantly reacting every time it buzzed, even if I didn’t check my phone. It was interrupting dinner, playtime with my son, and distracting me during meetings. Surprisingly, I’m not the only Gear Diary person who has …

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December 31, 2015 • Editorials, News

Does The Spotify Class Action Suit Threaten Streaming Services?

My favorite streaming music service, Spotify, is facing a class action lawsuit claiming they violated the copyrights of thousands of artists. If the suit sticks, Spotify could be responsible for millions in unpaid royalties. If this happens, could it be the first in a domino effect for the entire streaming industry? What does the future …

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December 30, 2015 • eBooks, Editorials, Gaming

5 Biggest Letdowns from the Star Wars Canon “Purge of 2015”

Like millions of others I have seen and LOVED Star Wars: The Force Awakens. As a long time fan of films and games and books, I loved seeing things from or derived from the ‘Expanded Universe’ that were immediately familiar. In fact, everything about this great new entry was awesome … but since then I …

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December 7, 2015 • Editorials

Saying Goodbye to Mailbox App: As DropBox Shutters It and Carousel in Early 2016

When a small app company is gobbled up, there are only a few options: the app fits well and expands the breadth of the parent company, or there is technology added to a core product and the product is eventually killed off, or the app just languishes while the new employees are tasked with other …

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513

November 23, 2015 • Editorials

Pebble Has a Pricing Problem

I love my original generation Pebble, and have kept an eye on the company and their subsequent watches. I even toyed with backing the Pebble Time, but after seeing how fast prices plummeted, I’m glad I didn’t. Understandably, many who did back the Time and Time Steel are a bit surprised by how fast prices …

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489

November 20, 2015 • Editorials, Health and Fitness

What’s the Secret to Fitbit’s Success?

It’s hard out there for a fitness tracking company. Apple Watch dominates the conversation, and anyone looking for a fitness-first solution seems to gravitate towards Fitbit. I realized tonight the secret to their success: ubiquity.

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388

November 6, 2015 • Editorials

Livescribe Acquired for $15 Million-End of the SmartPen Era?

Back in 2007, Livescribe introduced a product that bridged the analog and digital worlds-you use a physical pen and real paper, but everything you do is digitized and stored to be searchable and categorized. It was awesome, and just got better-in 2014 Dan reviewed the Livescribe 3, which I continue to love.

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550

October 28, 2015 • Editorials

The True Innovation in Verizon’s New Motorola Droids Is the Droid Maxx 2!

Yesterday Verizon and Motorola announced two new Droid smartphones; the Droid Turbo 2 with an “indestructible” screen, and the Droid Maxx 2. On paper, the Turbo 2 is the real story; the screen, 48 hours of battery life, and tons of customizations. The Maxx 2 has a lot of that, minus the indestructible screen. Oh, …

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It’s Wednesday, So It Must Be Time for New Garmin GPS Watches?!?

Doesn’t it feel like I was just writing about the Garmin Forerunner 225 announcement? While it has actually been 5 months since the FR 225 reveal, since then they also added the FR 25 entry level GPS watch and each slowly trickled into availability. This year has been all about big new launches and slow …

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459

October 7, 2015 • Rants and Raves

An Android User’s Thoughts on iOS: Likes and Dislikes

I’ve been an Android user ever since I received a G1 as a gift. I’ve only ever had Android phones and tablets, so I haven’t had a lot of exposure to iOS. When my workplace offered us a phone for work use, I had a choice between a Galaxy Note 4, a Galaxy S6 and the iPhone 6.

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571

September 24, 2015 • Rants and Raves

Android Pay Ruins Loyalty Cards by Tying Access to Your Credit Card Information!

I used Google Wallet for one reason: it held my loyalty cards. Unfortunately, with the new Android Pay I can’t access my loyalty cards unless I have a compatible bank card added! Wallet functioned fine without a card added, and even if I add a bank card, if it’s not a supported card I can’t …

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297

September 15, 2015 • Editorials

Why Didn’t Apple Just Put a REAL OS on the iPad Pro, and Are You Still Buying It?

You would think that with Apple being one of the bigger names out there in the market, when they announced that the iPad Pro, which had much speculation months prior was finally coming out, there wouldn’t be so much indecision regarding actually purchasing the gargantuan sized tablet. So what’s actually drawing you to it? What’s holding …

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357

September 14, 2015 • Editorials, Rants and Raves

Amazon Officially Kills Fire Phone-5 Reasons it Was the WORST Smartphone I Ever Owned!

Phones come and go every year, and nobody notices very much. Generally they are superseded by a new model, the Galaxy S6 replacing the S5 or the iPhone 6S replacing the 6…but sometimes they just disappear. Such is the case of the critically slammed and commercially failing Amazon Fire Phone, permanently killed off after less …

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August 19, 2015 • Editorials

The Frogurt is Also Cursed, or, Why Smartphones Have Become Boring

One of my favorite exchanges in “The Simpsons” comes from “Treehouse of Horror III”, where Homer goes to buy a doll for Bart and has an exchange about the tradeoffs (doll is good, but cursed, but comes with a free frogurt, also cursed). It seems like the same good/bad tradeoffs exist in smartphones these days …

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August 14, 2015 • Editorials, Health and Fitness

I Love The Garmin VivoActive … So Why Did I Dump It?

Back in April I reviewed the Garmin VivoActive GPS Smartwatch, listing five reasons I loved it and three concerns. After a couple of months I started drafting a follow-up about how I STILL loved the VivoActive – but stopped when an update caused issues. The next update resolved the issues, but by early July I …

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